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Planned bus rapid transit route from Alexandria to Tysons rolls ahead

Envision Route 7 BRT concept, photo via NVTC

A proposed bus rapid transit (BRT) route that could connect Alexandria to Tysons is moving into a new phase of study that will assess options through the Seven Corners area.

The plan is eventually to have the Envision Route 7 BRT line run from the Spring Hill Metro station in Tysons down to the Mark Center, where redevelopment could help turn the area into a hub that connects with other BRT lines. In May, Fairfax County chose a route through Tysons for the BRT line.

At a Northern Virginia Transportation Commission meeting last night, the Commission voted to approve a contract for the next phase of the study.

“As we look to the corridor in segments, Fairfax has done a lot of work from Tysons to the border of Falls Church,” staff said. “This picks up on the analysis they’ve done and continues down to Seven Corners.”

The study is expected to take up to 18 months (ending in April 2023) and will be followed by environmental and preliminary engineering design before staff comes back with a strategic framework for the plan. The contract was approved with a $516,800 cap.

According to a report prepared for the meeting:

The Envision Route 7 Phase IV-1 Mobility Study will evaluate and determine the mobility benefits and impacts resulting from the proposed Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) from Tysons to Seven Corners. The overall study objectives for this effort for the section of Route 7 from Tysons to Seven Corners are:

  • To determine the mobility benefits of BRT along Route 7;
  • To gain a better appreciation of the traffic impacts of BRT along Route 7;
  • To gain an understanding of the traffic operational issues with a BRT operating along
    Route 7; and,
  • To facilitate the public understanding of how a BRT would operate along Route 7.

With the 11-mile Route 7 corridor expected to see a 35% growth in population and jobs by 2040, NVTC anticipates that the planned BRT will generate about 30,000 boardings per day, two-thirds of which will be for shopping and recreation, according to the project webpage.

Photo via Northern Virginia Transportation Commission

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